Shifting Expectations: Women’s Roles in Gaming in 2015
Darina Olefirenko (Creative Media Specialist at Plarium)
Back in 2012, a games project specialist by the name of Luke Crane tweeted: ‘Why are there so few lady game creators?’
What followed was a tidal wave of comments on social media platforms from all corners of the globe. It appears that this question has been plaguing the gaming community for quite some time.
The response was overwhelming; it was as if the floodgates had been opened and everyone simply had to have their say. One of the women who joined in the conversation was the Tomb Raider scriptwriter: Rhianna Pratchett. She was the lady responsible for the now famous hashtags - #1ReasonToBe and #1ReasonWhy.
The Entertainment Software Association reported that some 45% of gamers were women in 2013, in the USA. This is encouraging news for the industry because it means that more women are entering the behind-the-scenes gaming market too. The number of female developers has spiked – more good news for the industry.
Here at Plarium this is an important topic of discussion. Our in-house staff is made up of 50% female department heads and 44% female executives, so naturally we’re thrilled to see the increasing role of women in the gaming industry.
This is what our female executives and department heads have to say about this important issue:
What is the Role of Women in Plarium’s Success? Please Provide an Example from Personal Experience.
The Head of Localization, Natalia Gladkaya had this to say: ‘For me, Plarium has always been a company where men and women’s roles are interchangeable. Plarium’s success is the synergistic success of individuals – men and women – working together. The success of teams and individual employees is what makes Plarium great. Personally, I run the localization department which is made up of many young women. I’m happy to report that our team is pivotal to the overall success of Plarium. We work hard to ensure that our games are popular with large numbers of players – in their native language.’
Are there Game Studio Positions that are either Male or Female by their Nature?
The Project Coordinator of the Mobile Games Department, Valerie Korzh had this to say: ‘Personally, I don’t thinks so…or rather, I’d really prefer that there weren’t any gender-specific positions. I’ve always been a big advocate of women pursuing whatever it is that they wish to pursue career wise. Of course there are some innately male professions in the world, but women are making dramatic strides here too.
Take for example the case of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. She’s my role model. The fact of the matter is that few people believed she would succeed in a male-dominated world, but she did and even managed to save the company from ruin. With the media following her every move, she’s turning out to be an inspiration to countless millions of women the world over. More power to her!’
What Challenges do Women Face in the Gaming Industry Today?
2D Artist & Team Leader, Tatiana Rystenko had this to say: ‘To be fair, we should not be limiting our discussion to the gaming industry. All women face challenges in different aspects of life. For example life priorities - what’s more important a family or a career? Should we seek social mobility or settle down? This discussion is certainly not exclusive to the gaming industry.
There’s very little difference between working in game development and other industries that are equally demanding. There’s more to it than simply piling on the work hours – while pretending to be working - for creating a retirement nest egg.